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Hello people

 

I'm new to astronomy and was wondering which scopes people would recommend for around £250, I'm a complete beginner.

 

Many thanks 

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As a result of Covid, many new telescopes are out of stock at the retailers.  FLO even have a web page dedicated to what they do have in stock.

You could also have a look at secondhand stuff, e.g. on the Astro Buy and Sell site.

 

You might also consider a decent pair of binoculars instead - a limited budget will almost certainly get you a better pair of binoculars than a telescope.

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Hi John,

 

Welcome. Buying your first telescope as a novice can be a bit daunting.

I would recommend First Light Optics first and foremost as you'll be buying online.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to look at anything first as there's nowhere open !!

 

This link will take you to FLO's website beginners section and will give you a good idea what you can buy with your available budget.

Remember you'll need some extra funds possibly, for things like eyepieces etc.

Good luck with your purchase 🙂

 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

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Hi John, welcome aboard.

Its worth taking some time to decide what you would like to look at and where you want to go. If you just want to visually see stuff and not bothered about photography or computers then a dobsonian gives you your best bang for your buck and a 200p skylines is about in that price range. They are hard to get at the moment as demand has out striped supply but I suspect the secondhand market will be thriving soon. If you want to get a camera involved then you'll need a good mount and lots more pennies. I love my dob, nice and easy to set up and gives some great views. I would normally suggest having a look at some members kit, but obviously that's not possible at present.

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Rusty Strings

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I would echo Tuckstar's recommendation of the 200p Skyliner.

 

When I came back to astronomy in 2007 after a very long " life" break, I ended up getting a 200p and EQ5 mount. I loved the scope but I found an equatorial mount to be more of a faff for the level of stargazing that I wanted to do. I ended up building a dobsonian mount for the scope and it is still my goto scope.

 

As many on here will say, getting to know how to navigate the sky is invaluable. Yes, you can buy a scope with a goto mount that will slew round to your chosen object, but they usually have a steep learning curve to set up correctly. A dobsonian is setup in minutes usually while it's still daylight and once it's optics has cooled to ambient temperature you are observing straight away.

 

 

 

Edited by Rusty Strings
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Hi John, a warm welcome to the group.

As a visual only sky botherer I can only recommend what has already been said. I reckon a pair of binoculars would be a great way to get you into another level of sky and you will easily be able to see stuff like the Andromeda galaxy with them. ( Once you have found it, you'll go straight to it every time.) You need a dark sky for it, but there is a load of nice objects to see with bino's.

A star atlas or a planetarium app will help no end. Stellarium is a great free app http://stellarium.org/  You can use this to learn area's of the sky while it's cloudy, so you have an idea what you will be looking at when you can get out.  I would suggest getting to be able to find the Pole star, Polaris, as this makes it easier to navigate round the sky when you start to get a handle on what is where. 

I wouldn't rush into buying a scope, if you find one you like, ask on here if anyone has had experience of it as we don't want you buying something that won't do what it claims etc. I reckon all of us have bought a three legged donkey at some point. I still have mine as I wouldn't inflict it on anyone else, that was my first scope which I bought before I met this lot and  I got a lot of great advice after that. 

Enjoy your stay and feel free to ask questions.

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There is a definite paucity of equipment on the market at the moment. I think all of the advice above is good. I would just add that I personally would recommend a small relatively inexpensive achromat as a starter scope. The Orion ST80 appears to be in stock again (I believe Amazon have some). Due to a possible disagreement with Synta (the Taiwanese manufacturer) Orion stopped distributing these for a while. They are also available under the Sky-Watcher, Omegon and other names. They are an excellent little scope for what they cost and can give rewarding wide field, low magnification views of star fields. However, they are pretty good for looking at the Moon and planets. 

 

AH5UFObm.jpg

 

https://uk.telescope.com/Telescopes/Orion-ShortTube-80-A-Refractor-Telescope/rc/1306/p/109938.uts?keyword=st80

 

A4dPe1Vm.jpg

 

I must point out that it will require a mount and tripod as well. Unfortunately this will increase the price somewhat.  

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Rusty Strings

Also, don't underestimate the value of a nice comfy garden reclining chair, warm clothes, a red light torch to preserve your dark adapted eyes, and a star atlas. A great way to find your way around the sky.

 

Oh, and a clear night!

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If storage space is not a problem and you are physically capable of moving a largish telescope from storage to observing (and back) then a Dobsonian as suggested above) would be my recommendation as a starter scope, but as already mentioned, most new scopes are about as rare as hen's teeth at the moment.

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Bottletopburly

Think carefully  what you want it to do , don’t buy a dobsonian then think you want to use a camera , try standing in the garden for two hours with binoculars  first  see how you get on .

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Hi John

Always a tricky question to answer but even more so now with the inability to try before you buy due to the pandemic stopping meetings where you could have a look at some scopes.

 

The others have covered the recommendations so another plus one for binoculars, star atlas, red torch and garden lounger here. These are great for finding your way round the sky, then when you find what part of astronomy (planets, moon, deep sky) fascinates you, you can then choose a scope which suits that purpose.

 

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